2007 Sailing and Maintenance Digest

June 14, 2007:  Setting Up
Between work, family commitments, and other distractions, it took me a week after launching to find the time to get back and install the sails and make other preparations to the boat.  But after remaining pretty overcast and cool all day long, by mid-afternoon the sun was shining, and I was happy to leave work just a little early so that I could drive to the boat for a few enjoyable hours.

It was a beautiful afternoon and evening in Rockland, with light-to-nonexistent winds and pleasant temperatures in the high 60s.  Since I had brought the dinghy home with me after last week's launching, I launched the dinghy at the ramp at Ocean Pursuits and then parked my truck in the locked parking lot.  I rowed out to the boat prepared to install the sails and final rigging bits.

Installing the jib was a snap, as usual; I even managed to remember to load the furling line on the drum in the proper direction this time (I often roll it the wrong way first, causing the sail to roll inside out).  Then, I moved on to the mainsail.  I puzzled for some time over the outhaul setup, as I couldn't at first quite remember how I had set up the various parts 2 years ago.  Eventually, I ignored this problem for the moment and simply worked on getting the battens installed, the outhaul slide in place, and the sail slides in the mast track.  Fortunately, I had my well-marked and well cared-for special batten installation tool, without which it's impossible to install the batten retainers at the leech.

It's awful how missing one season causes one to realize that the last time this was done was actually two years ago, in May 2005.  No wonder I felt a little rusty.

I ran the reefing lines to the first and second reefs, installed the cunningham, and then figured out how the outhaul was supposed to work and finished rigging that line.  I installed the lazy jacks, and flaked and covered the main.  It was such a beautiful evening that I was tempted to try for a short sail, but there really was no wind anyway.

I stowed the sail bags and other unneeded gear, and then approached one of my least favorite springtime jobs:  attaching the wires from the mast lights and instruments to the terminal blocks in the head.  This is an annoying chore because the space is tight, the marks on the wires always fade away after a winter (and particularly after two years), and I particularly dislike hooking up the teeny-tiny wind instrument wires into the teeny-tiny terminal block that came with them.  I'd do these differently next time (and maybe I'll change them someday).  In any event, I got the wires attached and it wasn't really that bad, but I was glad to have it behind me.

With that, the boat was ready for her first sail.


June 16, 2006:  First Sail
Finally, we had a summerlike weekend on our hands--and no commitments!  We left the house at 0900 to head for the boat.  After a quick stop for some basic supplies--drinks and snacks--we arrived at the boatyard, loaded gear into the dinghy, and, after I spent quite a few minutes trying to get my little outboard to run smoothly after its long hiatus, we headed out to the boat.  There was no wind, but it was simply beautiful, and nice to be on the boat.

While we waited for some wind to come up--the forecast was for light and variable, then becoming southeast and remaining fairly light--I stowed some of the new gear and took care of a couple small projects, like installing fresh batteries in the two ship's clocks.

Presently, a light breeze ruffled the waters, and after a time I decided we should give it a go.  We sailed smoothly out of the wide harbor, passing the Triton Northwind on her nearby mooring on the way, and successfully avoiding being gobbled up alive by the evil Vinalhaven ferry as we sailed past the breakwater.  These diabolical ferries trail in their wakes an ill wind, and are known (at least in the frightening inner depths of my strange mind) for opening their gaping maws and swallowing unsuspecting boats alive, leaving ne'r a trace.  Fortunately I'm wise to their game and have carefully studied stealth and avoidance tactics.  Today, thanks to judicious strategy, we managed to escape unscathed.


The wind built to an excellent and perfect 12-ish knots apparent, where it stayed most of the day, though in one brief period we saw 18 knots apparent.  This wind speed is perfect:  boats are able to achieve hull speed without battling chop, spray, and fighting sails and rails awash.  It was so pleasant that we just sailed aimlessly in the general direction of the Azores, or roughly southeast; we could have sailed in this way for hours.  The bay was wide open, unpopulated, and beautiful.  I couldn't even believe that we were daysailing in Penobscot Bay.  After 30 years in Casco Bay, which is excellent and beautiful in its own right, I admit to becoming a bit bored with the scenery there, and the move down the coast provided a welcome change--as well as the tantalizing prospect of so many outstanding cruising spots within a 2-hour sail of our home port.

Anyway, extols aside, I eventually decided that we  should tack towards shore and sail through Fisherman Island Passages and up Owl's Head Bay and back to Rockland.  The wind was light and dead behind as we sailed through inside of Monroe Island, and the tide was against us, but it was still fun...other than fighting to keep the jib full wing on wing. 

Back at the breakwater, we dodged the packs of hungry, stalking ferries and made it back safely to our mooring, wrapping up an outstanding 15+ mile sail.  Frankly, it'll be hard to beat this day's sail, but we'll spend the rest of the summer trying.


June 21-24, 2007:  Solstice Cruise
Full log posted here.

June 29, 2007:  Relaxing and Sailing Attempt
With a beautiful afternoon on hand, I played hooky and headed to the boat around 1430.  When I got there, though, I discovered that the morning's offshore breeze was fighting, as it sometimes does, with the onshore seabreeze that was trying to get its engine going; as a result, there was virtually no wind, and what there was was boxing the compass.  Therefore, I decided to relax and wait to see what the wind did before trying to head out.  I enjoyed a late lunch in the cockpit and did a few small projects on board, but the wind never materialized, sadly, so eventually, after several hours, I headed in.  The seabreeze did attempt to fill in just as I was heading in, but it was feeble and I knew it'd never get a foothold.

I made a change in my dinghy choice for the "commute" to the boat.  While I love the Fatty Knees for cruising and most things, rowing back and forth, particularly multiple times with stores and supplies, gets old.  I happened to have an old inflatable dinghy that was my dad's years ago; this old "Seaworthy" brand dinghy soldiers on.  I also have the 5hp Nissan outboard that came with it, and I decided for mooring commuting that this rig would be a better choice, so after a couple days' preparatory work at home, including testing the engine and renewing the dinghy painter, one of the other chores I accomplished was to launch and prepare this dinghy.  I took the Fatty Knees home to await cruising.


July Entries>


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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